Patients impatient with the NHS

People are turning to DIY diagnoses while they wait to find out what's wrong with them according to new research. A study on delayed diagnosis commissioned by Aviva, suggests that people age 18 to 65 are researching their symptoms while they wait for appointments - leading to panic about the state of their health.

Nine in ten say that their number one priority is knowing what is wrong with them when they are unwell, and worrying while they wait for their illness to be diagnosed makes being unwell more stressful. Half worry themselves doing internet diagnoses whilst waiting for an appointment with a specialist. One in three have panicked after asking friends' and family's opinion of their symptoms. Half have panicked that there might be something seriously wrong with them.

The research says that consumers still believe NHS waiting lists are too long, with four in five saying the worst thing about the NHS is the amount of time spent waiting for an appointment with a specialist to find out what is wrong with them. Six in ten believe that the standard of NHS treatment is just as good as private healthcare but that consultations are always rushed. Being able to get diagnosed more quickly tops the list of private healthcare advantages.

Neal Archbold at Aviva says, "People value the quality of care that the NHS offers but they want the peace of mind that quick access to diagnostic tests provides and the ability to make informed decisions about next stages of treatment. If this means returning to the NHS then knowing what is wrong with them helps their doctors prioritise them correctly. If they choose to have the treatment privately then knowing what is required helps them decide if the costs are affordable."

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Patients impatient with the NHS
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